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Singapore's best international bank 2018: Citi


Singaporeans see Citi, led by country chief executive Han Kwee Juan, as a local bank just as much as an international one, and the numbers tell you why.

Citi Singapore branch, which is the fully licensed bank comprising Citi’s institutional client group businesses, reported a 20% jump in net income to S$197 million ($145 million) at the end of December 2017. Citi Singapore Ltd, under which the firm runs its consumer banking operations, reported a 22% rise in net income to S$535 million, while Citicorp Investment Bank (Singapore), through which Citi books its investment banking and capital markets deals, had a 41% boost in net income to S$291 million.

Citi is one of the country’s go-to investment banks for clients. It worked on the $17.9 billion take-private deal of logistics company GLP – the largest M&A transaction ever in Singapore – while other key deals include the $1.1 billion privatization of Croesus Retail Trust, and the $1 billion merger of ESR-Reit and Viva Industrial Trust. It also worked with the likes of Mapletree Logistics Trust, Keppel-KBS, Sasseur Reit, Clifford Capital, BOC Aviation and sovereign fund Temasek Holdings.

Its global markets and securities services business has also outperformed, with Singapore being the bank’s key hub for its foreign exchange, commodities and fixed income offerings. For instance, its FX trade volumes last year were $2.2 trillion, with Citi trading over $30 billion in equities, up by 9% year on year.

That’s not all. Citi’s commercial banking operations and private banking operations are also impressive in the southeast Asian city-state. Last year, the former division reported a 10% rise in revenues versus 2016, while the latter’s revenues jumped 23%.

On the consumer banking front, Citi has focused on digital transformation, which led to a 50% growth in mobile banking users in 2017, and one third of new cards and loan volumes coming from online customers.